A look at the 2012 Freedom House ranking of 197 countries according to their relative freedom.
Rice pilaf, or plov, is a quintessential Central Asian dish made with lamb, long grain rice, garlic, spices, and root vegetables.
This week's round-up of Good Reads includes a profile of Olympian Missy Franklin, American sitcoms in Kyrgyzstan, a strange TV phenomenon in Norway, a 'slow friend' backlash to Facebook, and productive early risers.
The tiny states of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, having shed their Russian-dominated past and joined the EU and NATO, are looking to help their post-Soviet neighbors to do the same.
It's a staggering claim, but it was made by the country's Supreme Audit Bureau.
Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Darrell Issa claim the Benghazi consulate sought more security before the deadly attack. They also both voted to cut the State Department's embassy security budget.